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Don't Blame Seniors

October 14, 1990

I am tired of all the blame and finger pointing directed at us the senior citizens ("Home Sick" Aug. 26). The fact that the young can't afford to buy a house is not due to our Social Security checks or Medicare, it is due to the fact that builders don't build homes in a logical sense as they used to.

We came here in 1960 with six children between the ages of 5 and 16. We put $600 down on a 1,200- to 1,300-square-foot home--then closed the carport to make two extra bedrooms. For the eight of us we had one bathroom and payments of $75 a month. Five years later, we sold it and bought a nice 4-bedroom, 2-bath home in a nice neighborhood.

Today, with the average family having 1 1/2 children, they build 2,200- to 2,700-square-foot homes, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, luxury carpeting. Of course, the young cannot afford it, but why don't they start small and go from there as we did?

And why do they buy cars which cost half a year's income or more per partner? We lived through recession and World War II, when the men were at war, with low pay. Who on earth has the idea that we were able to amass huge savings for our retirement? Our combined income today from Social Security is a little over $900 a month. Thank God, my husband, who is in his 70s, can still work a couple of days a week, because with house payments, utilities, insurance, etc. there sure would not be much food in the house. Would the young generation who want everything today instead of taking one step at a time please give us a break?

MARGARET GALLO

San Bernardino

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